U.S. Allies Lead in Female Genital Mutilation

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and From Mainline to Sideline. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Reason and many other publications.


female-genital-mutilation-fgmUNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, has issued a new report on FGM/C, female genital mutilation/cutting, that raises troubling questions about the practice and the American response to it, particularly in nations such as Egypt.

“Girls and women are made to have their external genitalia removed fully or partially– some when they are just infants, others when they hit puberty,” explains UNICEF, “in the name of preserving female honour, chastity, beauty, ensuring their marriageability.” Kheiriya Abidi, a 10-year-old Somali girl is “terrified of the blood, the pain and physical torture she will have to suffer if her genitals are cut.” As another description notes, untrained practitioners do the cutting with instruments such as broken glass, tin lids, scissors or unsterilized razors, and without anesthesia. This causes intense pain and trauma, and poses health risk such as HIV transmission, and worse.

UNICEF notes that more mothers are now aware that “FGM/C can lead to their daughter’s, or a girl’s, death.” The report finds a “sharp decline” in FGM/C in numerous countries. Among adolescent girls in Benin, the Central African Republic, Iraq, Liberia and Nigeria, FGM/C has dropped by as much as half. All told, female genital mutilation has been inflicted on more than 125 million women and girls, roughly equivalent to the entire population of Japan. Nearly half of the victims reside in Ethiopia and Egypt, a country much in the news.

UNICEF explains that FGM/C is not an Islamic custom, not in the Quran, and not practiced by many Islamic communities. But female genital mutilation and cutting remains prevalent in Egypt, an Islamic country where about 80 percent of women aged 15 to 19 have been cut compared to 96 percent of women in their late 40s. By these numbers, the vast majority of Egyptian woman and girls are victims of female genital mutilation, performed in Egypt by a trained physician in more than 75 percent of cases.

In 2008, under Hosni Mubarak, Egypt criminalized all forms of FGM and the number of mutilated girls dropped by about one third. But the rise of Islamism and the Muslim Brotherhood canceled those gains. Under Mohamed Morsi, the courts rejected challenges to FGM/C. Nehad Abud Komsan, director of the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights, explained that the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist politicians “are destroying years of efforts to protect girls and women in Egypt and, unfortunately, by using religion.”

Geeta Rao Gupta, deputy executive director of UNICEF, charges that “FGM/C is a violation of a girl’s rights to health, well-being and self-determination.” She says that “legislation alone is not enough” and wants “this harmful practice” abandoned. So for UNICEF female genital mutilation is a human rights issue — this from an agency of the United Nations, which generally performs poorly on the human rights front in the Middle East and Africa.

The United States has often denounced human rights violations in the USSR, Russia, Cuba, North Korea, South Africa and other countries. But concerns over FGM/C as a human rights violation failed to gain traction in U.S. policy toward Egypt, where the last two U.S. ambassadors have been women: Margaret Scobey and Anne W. Patterson, the current incumbent.

On the other hand, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has offered solidarity with African women opposed to FGM/C. “We cannot excuse this as a cultural tradition” she said, invoking “the rights of young girls to be free from both physical and mental violence.” That emerged in a February 2013 statement from Geeta Pasi, U.S. ambassador to Djibouti.

President Obama signed “Transport for Female Genital Mutilation” an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2013. But the president has not made FGM/C an issue in Egypt or Kenya, where genital mutilation of women and girls remains accepted practice. That is still the case in much of Africa and the Middle East, but American feminists, allegedly concerned about violence against women, have not made female genital mutilation one of primary causes.

Following the release of the UNICEF report, the top issue on the website of the National Organization for Women was justice for Trayvon Martin, followed by praise for the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage. Muslim activists have likewise failed to raise the FGM/C issue.

In Pakistan, where FGM/C is reportedly on the increase, the victims include British girls of Pakistani origin. Girls are told they are going on vacation to see relatives but remain “unaware that their parents are taking them to Pakistan to carry out the FGM procedure.”

Pakistani-American Sadia Saifuddin, the first Muslim to serve as a University of California student regent, is not denouncing FGM/C or calling for the UC system to divest itself from countries that allow the practice. Rather, she spearheads a campaign to divest UC funds from companies affiliated with the Israeli military.

Violence, torture, mutilation, terrorized, trauma, death. The vocabulary leaves no doubt that female genital mutilation is savage barbarism. By calling for its worldwide elimination, the United Nations Children’s Fund shows itself stronger on a vital human rights issue than American politicians, feminist groups and Muslim activists.

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  • Chez

    “UNICEF explains that FGM/C is not an Islamic custom, not in the Quran, and not practiced by many Islamic communities.”

    FGM is in fact an “Islamic custom”. There is a Hadith in which Muhammad unequivocally mandates both male and female “circumcision.” This is why the custom so stubbornly refuses to disappear.

    As for the silence of Western feminists to FGM, it accompanies their silence regarding so many other facts of Islamic misogyny and gender discrimination, including legalized rape, stoning adulteresses, honor killing, liabilities against women in testimony and inheritance in Islamic law (Quran 2.228, 2.282, 4.11), legalized wife beating (Quran 4.34), etc. All told, this silence by those feminists who profess to speak on behalf of women is a travesty that conservatives should and must exploit.

    CONSERVATIVES can become the voice of gender equality and women’s rights around the globe. Think of how many women in America and Europe, duly informed of the profoundly anti-woman character embedded into Islamic law and custom and – by extension – into the left-wing, multicultural ethos, could be brought into the conservative fold.

  • bj affordable

    Don’t expect the femmo-nazis to care about the abominable mutilation of women and girls. They couldn’t care less. The Commies got to the femmos (man-haters) long ago.

    Stalin isn’t dead. He hasn’t even started yet.

    As for UNICEF; they’re no more than another commie shop front for the ultimate in Bolshevism: the United Nations.

  • tokoloshiman

    This disgusting hateful practice will continue as long as the women and mothers support it in the countries where it is done.
    There are no other Malala’s out there apparently, just brain washed half people
    used for the pleasure of men like cattle and treated accordingly.
    Whilst men get pleasure women get a lifetime sentence of misery and when murdered by stoning or beheading are hardly even mentioned in the western
    left consensus media, who have become inured to the suffering because on such a large scale it becomes meaningless almost, and is written off to multi cultural differences which is an area no one wants to tread for fear of being called racist or that overused term an islamophobe!
    And the girls suffering continues , their screams whilst being mutilated and butchered echoing off eternally deaf ears ……

  • tokoloshiman

    By the way if women are animals and chattels , what does that make the men who have sex with them?
    and the resulting births , are half animals , if female and human if male?
    what an advanced culture!

  • m4253y

    Because, they are self-serving whores out for themselves.

  • Softly Bob

    Ball-breaking feminists were never as tough as they liked to think
    they were. They campaigned for their cause in a ‘free’ society and won.
    Now of course, they are no longer living in a free society but in a
    politically-correct Orwellian oligarchy, hence they keep their mouths
    shut!
    It’s the same with all these 1960s rebels – the ones that
    protested Vietnam, the ones that campaigned for animal rights and the
    ones that campaigned for ‘gay’ rights. They saw themselves as brave
    warriors fighting against the State, but it was always a safe war, as
    the State couldn’t touch them.
    Today they still fight, but now they fight for the ‘norm’ instead of against it, because now the norm IS – gay rights, animal rights and so on.

    These pathetic rebels are not rebels at all. The real rebels are the Conservatives who want their country back.Which just proves all along, that despite making the biggest noises, at heart Leftists are what they have always been – cowards!

  • American1969

    More proof that these cultures are barbaric and backward. They are not compatible with Western living and values. They are animals.
    As for the feminists—-they are no better than the “male dominated power structure” they’ve complained about for years. All they care about is promoting a Progressive agenda, not what would actually be empowering to women and girls. They have no credibility.
    What a horrible procedure! Notice it’s always the women that get to bear the brunt of these “rules” in these backward cesspools, never the men? Maybe if they made men wait to get circumcised until puberty and with no anesthetic, they might put more thought into it. But that will never happen.

  • Archimedes_777

    WHAT ABOUT MGM: MALE GENITAL MUTILATION–AKA CIRCUMCISION.
    AND THE JEWISH ONE CALLED Metzitzah B’peh

    In fact, there is a ritual even more barbaric and disgusting–it is a form of male genital mutilation called b’peh.

    Go to failedmessiah dot com and read about b’peh which is rampant among the Judaists.

    All 3 are ancient African barbaric rituals that have no place in the modern world.

  • Archimedes_777

    MORE ON JEWISH RITUAL MALE GENITAL MUTILATION AND ORAL HEMOPHAGIA.

    http://en.metapedia.org/wiki/Metzitzah_b%27peh

  • chepkadog